My kids and I just returned from a two day excursion in Beverly Hills, visiting my husband who has been working there for the past 10 months. While our visit was brief, it was not without excitement and harrowing adventures:
Monday 8:30 am - Breakfast with The King: When my kids are on vacation their hunger becomes exponentially larger with each passing day. You'd think I'd just plucked them from the most barren desert in Ethiopia where they have been living on 2 grains of rice and sips of trench water for the past 6 months. By 8:30 am on Monday morning the whining was unbearable. So we headed off to "Nate and Al's" a Beverly Hills Delicatessen which looks like it has been there since the beginning of time. It probably has considering that as soon as we walked in my daughter Ellie spotted Larry King in the corner (word on the street is Larry dines there every morning). We were sat catty-corner from Larry where I had a bird's-eye view of his every move. First of all, while it might not seem possible, Larry actually looks older in person. It was like watching the Cryptkeeper in a pink oxford eating oatmeal with his Entourage. My son accused me of "staring" at Larry King (I couldn't help myself - I watch his show almost every night). "I'm not staring, I was winking and making lovey-dovey eyes at him - but don't tell your dad," I retorted. I really didn't wink at Larry, although with that bony body and hunchbacked posture it was hard to resist.
RDJ is that You? My son went off to spend the day at work with his dad (I hope he didn't blab about my flirtation with Larry King) while Ellie and I decided to do some old fashion shopping (window shopping) in Bev. Hills. As we made our way down Beverly Blvd. I made eye contact with Robert Downey Jr as he enjoyed a coffee at an outdoor cafe. OK, I'm like 99% is was Robert Downey Jr. (maybe his twin brother or some douchebag fanatic who's impersonating RDJ on the streets of 90210). I didn't want to stop or stare, so I continued to strut on by Mr. Ironman acting like I wasn't impressed.
The $250 Hat: Me and Ellie made our way to Barney's (3rd floor, trendy section) where amongst the Marc Jacobs, Tahari and Ella Moss, we were able to find three Splendid t-shirts on sale that we gobbled up like cheap tee-shirt junkies. As Tad, our salesman started to ring me up, I noticed the most adorable black hat - it literally called out to me like the Sirens in Homer's "The Odyssey". When I put it on my head I swear sparkles glittered in the mirror - the black wool cap with patent leather strap made me look like a really cute limo driver. My husband Tom has always said he loves me in hats, so I knew this was a must have. Until I saw the $250 price tag. Holy shit - this cap was made with probably $10 worth of wool, $0.95 of silk lining and perhaps $4 for the patent-leather piping. I guess the "Lanvin" tag accounted for the other $235.05. "God Dammit! Why couldn't I be born a trust-fund baby," I murmured as Tad rang me up for the $123 worth of over-priced tee shirts.
The Rodeo Strut: I was crushed about the over-priced limo must-have-cap and figured I could head back up Rodeo and cross over to Beverly where I had seen The Gap. Surely they would have a cheaper version of the hat I so coveted. Still high off my tee-shirt coup, and the Larry King, Robert Downey Jr. encounters, I strutted down Rodeo like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (except I wasn't wearing hooker clothes and shiny plastic boots). I guess I had it coming, acting all confident with my Barney's shopping bag, in my new Citizens of Humanity jeans and black high wedge sandals. Clearly I am no Victoria Beckham as I strutted down Rodeo Drive and promptly tripped on a curb landing face first smack in front of the Louis Vuitton Store. I landed with a huge thud as my Barney's bag flew 100 feet in front of me. I got up with a nice new rip in the knee of my jeans and (unbeknownst to me until 20 minutes later) a large black smudge across the bridge of my nose. Classy.
There's No Fast Food in Beverly Hills: Later that day, after mending my scraped knee and cleaning the scuff off my nose - the Ethiopians grew painfully hungry once more. No matter that we were in walking distance of Spago and hundreds of other great eateries - no goat's cheese pizza or lobster hoagies would not suffice - they wanted hamburgers, the kind you get from a drive thru. Finding a McDonald's or Burger King in Beverly Hills is like trying to find a bottle of nail polish in KD Lang's vanity (i.e. it's nonexistent). Two miles (yet worlds away) outside of Beverly Hills we found a Burger King and you'd think my children had spotted a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. In retrospect I'm glad we found that Burger King because otherwise I would never have come face to face with a man who was clearly the love-child of Rick James and Little Richard. Imagine Rick James' face (complete with 70's porno-stache) adorned with one of Little Richard's finest wigs and you get the picture. I'm not kidding - a little girl actually snuck up behind him, touched his "hair" (which looked like a bouffant of shiny black cotton candy) and ran away giggling. It took every ounce of restraint not to yell out "I'm Rick James, bitch" as I exited with my Whopper Jr. and Dr. Pepper.
Pig Pen - Is that You? On our way back to the hotel, we were stopped at a light and who should cross our path but my faithful old hobo "Pig Pen" (see story below). Clearly the $5 I had given him last week was not used for any personal grooming products like shampoo or a razor. Pig Pen was as dirty and disorientated as ever. Call me pessimistic, but I think "Pig Pen" might be on the sauce.
No, I'm not "Anybody": We eventually made it back to our hotel where we were greeted in the front drive by three losers in Ed Hardy shirts and knit skull caps who were clearly paparazzi looking for their next meal ticket. As I exited my car and walked through the lobby, I noticed them with their mysterious satchels following me. As I waited for the elevator, I could hear them whispering and out of the corner of my eye could swear they were pointing at me. "Oh my god, I thought. They think I am someone famous." (I know - conceited much?) Apparently, they had only gotten a good look at the back of my head and ultra-blond hair. They probably thought I was Hayden Panetterie's mom or Blair from "The Facts of Life". An elevator eventually opened and as I headed in and turned around one of them ran up to me and we came face to face. His grin slowly turned to a look of grave disappointment as I asked him if he was getting on he said, "No thanks, we'll catch the next one." Clearly, he had just realized that I was a "nobody". The sad "loser" sound effect from a seventies game show rang in my head (Wah wah wahhhhhh) as I headed up to my room for a well-deserved nap.